green turtle hatchling at andbeyond vamizi island

&Beyond Vamizi Island conservation & research

Conservation has been a strong driver at &Beyond Vamizi Island even before its six luxury villas were opened, with a Conservation Team present on the island from 2005...

Corals reefs are some of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on earth. They are currently under great stress.

The reefs around Vamizi are exceptionally diverse, with the northern Mozambican channel estimated to be the second most biodiverse coral reef region in the world after the Coral Triangle. Over 180 different species of coral and more than 400 species of reef fish have been recorded here, with many yet to be discovered.

Vamizi’s ecosystem is particularly unique in that it has both high biodiversity and remarkable resilient to bleaching, thanks so the upwelling of cool water from the nearby depths of the Mozambican channel. These reefs are also highly productive, with mass coral spawning and fish breeding aggregation sites. This extraordinary habitat provides a valuable research opportunity to not only improve our understanding of what factors support a healthy reef ecosystem, but also to learn how we can protect these reefs, which may serve as a source of fish and coral larvae to replenish degraded reefs elsewhere along the East African coast.

The waters around Vamizi also play an important role in supporting large marine species such as humpback whales, green and hawksbill turtles, manta rays, and a number of species of dolphin and sharks, many of which aggregate at certain times of the year as part of their breeding cycle. By studying the movement patterns of these species and knowing where they go from here, we are better able to design well-targeted conservation strategies to ensure their survival.

As a result of climate change and over-exploitation of marine resources globally, Vamizi is becoming an increasingly important site for supporting healthy reefs in East Africa. Vamizi has been recognised as a ‘Hope Spot’, a term given to unique places that are critical to the health of the ocean. Any positive influence we succeed with here has an exponential knock-on effect for the worlds’ oceans and the planet as a whole.

Vamizi’s rich reef ecosystem is located at the centre of an ocean current network that moves north up the east coast of Africa towards Mnemba Island, and south  towards Benguerra Island and Sodwana Bay. These currents carry with them coral and fish larvae from source reefs like Vamizi’s to replenish coral ecosystems along the entire coastline, many of which are degraded and heavily fished. Through Oceans Without Borders and our three islands, we have a unique opportunity to support coral reef conservation across 3000km of this coast, and to facilitate research that will improve our understanding of the ecosystem connectivity within the region.

The Reality of our Oceans AF